On this day in 2001, 2,977 people were killed (with some still dying) by 19 terrorists in three separate attacks on the United States, including New York City, Washington, D.C. and near where I live in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. One of those attempts failed to hit its target, either the White House or the United States Capitol, but killed the passengers and crew. Everyone has stories of where they were on September 11th of 2001 including me. I pay the highest and most honored respect to those who died, including a friend. He was a colleague and died in one of the Towers, also the aunt [Wanda A. Green] of a former in-law, who worked aboard United Airline flight 93.
I took a moment just minutes before nine this morning, as did the country, and prayed for the surviving family members of each victim of the worse terror attack on American soil in history. That brings me to my present concern. My nephew, after graduating high school in May, is currently grunting and sweating in the noonday sun at Parris Island, South Carolina. He chose to forego college because he wanted to serve his country and be a Marine. I fear for his safety, not because he is by any means cowardly, or incapable of protecting himself, but because his commander-in-chief has been described as a child, a ‘moron,’ an idiot, and a ‘kook’ by people in government and those who have worked for and with him.
We all laughed at what is being called ‘Sharpie-Gate’ by pundits and columnist, but for someone with a son, father, mother or daughter in harm’s way, let me tell you why this is not funny. My nephew was born the year after America was attacked. I literally changed a diaper or two and cooed and nuzzled his cheeks when he was the proverbial bouncing baby boy. I watched his mom, grandma and assorted aunts and uncles worry about a cough that lasted more than a day, pad furniture when he began to walk, and lift him, checking body-parts when he fell. The President of the United States was so anxious to make himself the center of attention two weeks ago, he drew a semi-circle on an official weather forecast map, meant to warn thousands and thousands of people of possible doom. The doodling was not the result of his inquisitive nature but a result of his need to be in the spotlight; ‘Look at me I saved you.’
As dangerous as the ideas of nation-builder John Bolton hold, that drives his jingoistic politics, his intelligence in comparison to Donald Trump is not questioned; even by Bolton detractors like me. Mr. Trump is trusting Putin, trusting Kim Jong-un, trusting the Saudis, where 18 of the 9/11 attackers originated. He is winging it with acting directors, his children as advisors and in his own words, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.”
I tremble when I think of Mr. Trump within earshot of the Marine carrying the nuclear football while he awaits Ivanka or Jared telling him where Iran is on a map so he can draw a circle around it with his custom-made Sharpie. I am not laughing, and neither should you; be safe my beloved nephew.
Vote in 2020 for Change.